By Jesse Wood
Aug. 2, 2013. In a release on Friday, District Attorney Jerry Wilson officially announced that he is retiring once his present term ends at the end of 2014. In the same release, he offered his endorsement for Britt Springer, who currently serves as chief prosecutor and assistant district attorney for the 24th District, which represents Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, Yancey and Madison counties.
“Before I step aside, I hope you will allow me one final observation concerning the future. Next year we will be voting for and electing a new District Attorney. If we are to keep our mountain community a safe place to live, work and raise our children our vote must not be based on friendship, kinship or pure partisan politics. Instead, it must be based upon the candidates experience and ability to carry out the duties of this office. When a candidate for District Attorney asks for your vote, ask them what experience they have in the trial of serious felonies such as murder, child sexual assault or kidnapping,” Wilson said in the release.
“Dealing with cases of this sort is not something you look up or learn in a book, it only comes from years of experience dealing with these cases in the courtroom. Ask the candidate what experience they have in Superior Criminal Court. Dealing with traffic tickets and misdemeanors in District Court does not prepare an attorney to take on the duties of District Attorney. Ask them if they are experienced in pre-trial and post conviction hearings in Criminal Superior Court. These are hearings the public is usually never aware of, but they are the “make or break” in many serious criminal trials,” he continued.
Wilson said Springer meets all of these criteria as an experienced and able prosecutor who would seamlessly enter the role of district attorney.
“She has spent years prosecuting criminal cases at the highest levels, gaining the experience and knowledge which is indispensable to the office of District Attorney. I strongly support and endorse Mrs. Springer as my successor because our community cannot afford an inexperienced District Attorney,” Wilson said in a release.
Wilson has served in the 24th District Attorney’s Office for 32 years. Twenty of those years were as assistant district attorney and 12 of those years as district attorney.
“I leave knowing that I will miss the hundreds of friends I have made over these many years, but I look forward to spending more time with my wife Karen and more time trout fishing,” Wilson said.
Springer may face current Watauga County Board of Commissioners Chair Nathan Miller in 2014 election for the district attorney position. Miller has already stated that he is considering running.
Springer Announces Her Run for 24th District Attorney Position